Glacier-fed rivers are disappearing – of course.


Click to enlargeUniversity of Alberta

❝ A call for policy-makers to begin planning for the inevitable disappearance of glacier-fed rivers is one of the highlights of a no-holds-barred, University of Alberta-led accounting of the health of Canada’s mountains.

The 2018 State of the Mountains Report is a collection of expert summaries written to raise awareness about the ways a changing climate is transforming the alpine…

Mountains are sentinels for larger global change,” said U of A mountain historian Zac Robinson. “The change is alarming, but I’m optimistic because mountains are adored by people everywhere. That’s hopeful because people are paying attention to these types of things.”

Read it and weep for the mountains and rivers, my friends. Many of the most important moments in my life were spent within these landscapes and similar – around the globe. Replacements aren’t the same.

4 thoughts on “Glacier-fed rivers are disappearing – of course.

  1. Cassandra says:

    The amount of water locked up in ice and snow is only about 1.7 percent of all water on Earth, but the majority of total freshwater on Earth, about 68.7 percent, is held in ice caps and glaciers.
    In a report published in June 2007, the United Nations Environment Programme estimated that global warming could lead to 40% of the world population being affected by the loss of glaciers, snow and the associated meltwater in Asia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meltwater#Global_warming
    “Mountain glaciers around the world, from the Himalayas to the Andes, are shrinking in the face of climate change—and that could pose a major threat to water resources for nearby communities. Greenland and Antarctica house the world’s largest ice sheets, but ice can be found in high-altitude locations around the world, from Asia to Europe to South America. These mountain glaciers are important resources for human settlements. Glacial runoff, especially during the spring and summer, can provide a critical source of fresh water downstream. But in a new modeling study of 56 glacier drainage basins worldwide, roughly half the studied sites have already reached a kind of tipping point—after which the amount of fresh water that runs off each year begins to decline.” (Scientific American 1/23/18) https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/shrinking-mountain-glaciers-are-affecting-people-downstream/

  2. Cassandra says:

    “Europe’s Most Important River Is Running Dry as Glaciers Shrink” https://gcaptain.com/europes-most-important-river-is-running-dry-as-glaciers-shrink/ “With its source high in the Swiss Alps, the Rhine snakes 800 miles through the industrial zones of Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands before emptying into the sea at Rotterdam, Europe’s busiest port. “We have already seen effects on national economic growth,” said Oliver Rakau, chief German economist at Oxford Economics. “The problem is related to global warming and can happen again.”
    The river is fed by glaciers and rain. But alpine ice flows shrank 28 percent between 1973 and 2010 — the date of the most recent in-depth study by the Swiss government — and that decline may be as much as 35 percent now, according to Wilfried Hagg, glacier expert at Munich University. “The Alps are warming at an even faster rate as snow and ice melts,” Hagg said. “A warming climate means that incidents like the low river levels this summer are more likely to occur.”

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